Cambodian riot police officers stand guard in front of Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sept. 26, 2014 (AP photo by Heng Sinith).

In September, the Australian government agreed on a deal to send refugees currently housed on the Pacific Island nation of Nauru to Cambodia for permanent resettlement. The agreement is a new twist in the Australian government’s efforts to deter asylum seekers arriving by boat on its northern shores. The Pacific island nation of Nauru currently hosts some 1,233 asylum seekers transferred there by Australia under a separate, earlier agreement, and they are still awaiting determination of their refugee claims. The Cambodian agreement is important for Australia because it provides a long-term solution for refugees on Nauru that does not jeopardize […]

Adoration of the Magi by El Greco, 1568

The Christmas story is full of joy and wonder, but it also includes a cautionary tale about a diplomatic blunder. The blunderers are the three ostensibly wise men from the east who visit King Herod in Jerusalem to ask: “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” This query sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in Herod’s decision to massacre the baby boys of Bethlehem and its environs in a failed attempt to kill Jesus. This atrocity ensures that […]

A cargo train is ready to cross an Iranian border in the Turkmen frontier village of Ak-Yayla, Dec. 3, 2014 (AP photo by Alexander Vershinin).

Earlier this month, the presidents of Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan inaugurated a railway that runs from western Kazakhstan to northern Iran. In an email interview, Erica Johnson, lecturer and director of masters studies in global studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill discussed infrastructure projects in Central Asia. WPR: What obstacles, both political and technological, had to be overcome to construct the railway between Iran and Turkmenistan? Erica Johnson: Because of the 2008 global financial crisis, Kazakhstan put the railway project on hold for 18 months. In addition to financing from the three participating countries, the Asian Development […]

A South Korean army soldier walks near a TV screen showing an advertisement for Sony Pictures’ “The Interview,” at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 22, 2014 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).

When they set out to make “The Interview,” a comedic movie about assassinating the leader of North Korea, actors Seth Rogen and James Franco likely did not realize they would spark a massive cyber attack, lead the White House to dub those attacks a national security problem or inadvertently trigger a First Amendment crisis in the United States. When Sony and theater owners bowed to hacker demands that they cancel the movie’s Christmas Day release, followed shortly by Paramount’s refusal to allow movie theaters to run “Team America: World Police”—another comedy made at North Korea’s expense—in its place, they highlighted […]

U.S. President Barack Obama walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping as he gestures towards Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

This year has seen a remarkable strengthening of Russian-Chinese ties, building on a relationship that even before 2014 was at its historical best. Their growing closeness is evident in their security policies, economic ties and ideological alignment. U.S. policies presume that Russia and China can be successfully managed through a combination of firmness and patience, but there needs to be greater recognition of how these countries jointly present a more challenging environment for U.S. foreign policy. In an underappreciated interview with The Economist this August that focused mostly on Africa and the U.S. economy, U.S. President Barack Obama made revealing […]

An anti-government protester waves a Thai national flag during a rally in downtown Bangkok, Thailand, May 9, 2014 (AP photo by Vincent Thian).

Last month, seven police officers were arrested in Thailand on corruption charges,part of a wider anti-corruption campaign by the ruling junta. In an email interview, Douglas Olthof, a doctoral candidate at Simon Fraser University, discussed the ongoing corruption crackdown in Thailand. WPR: Who are the main targets of the junta’s corruption crackdown? Douglas Olthof: The targets of the current corruption crackdown in Thailand are by and large the members of the power network of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The period of democratization in Thailand that stretched from the early 1990s to 2006 witnessed an important shift in power […]

Police stand watch over flower tributes and messages written on the footpath outside the Lindt cafe in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 17, 2014 (AP photo by Rob Griffith).

Following the 9/11 attacks, U.S. national security strategy focused with laser-like intensity on militant organizations that supported transnational terrorism, particularly al-Qaida. While it was never proven that al-Qaida’s sanctuary in Afghanistan was essential for the attacks, the connection between foreign sanctuary and terrorism became so deeply etched in the American psyche that eradicating militant sanctuaries, both real and theoretical, became an inextricable part of stopping transnational terrorism. Thus began what became known as the Global War on Terrorism. As the United States and its allies pummeled al-Qaida in the ensuing years, support for transnational terrorism shifted from that organization’s core […]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker’s rally in Gauhati, India, Nov. 30 2014 (AP photo by Anupam Nath).

In the short time since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in May, he has revolutionized his country’s foreign relations. Modi has defied conventional wisdom, upended national traditions and launched a peripatetic campaign of rebuilding India’s ties to other nations. The hallmark of India’s foreign policy under Modi is the pursuit of tangible, preferably signed results. Its motivating objective is fomenting investment and economic growth. Ideological concerns have been relegated far down the priority list. Modi’s international relations early in his term are reminiscent of Turkey’s old “Zero Problems” formula from a few years ago, a philosophy that collapsed […]

Kashmiri women stand in line to cast their votes during the fourth phase polling of the Jammu and Kashmir state elections on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Dec. 14, 2014 (AP photo by Dar Yasin).

The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir’s phased voting process for local elections continued over the weekend. In an email interview, Sten Widmalm, professor at Uppsala University in Sweden and author of “Kashmir in Comparative Perspective,” discussed politics in Kashmir. WPR: What are the major issues driving Jammu and Kashmir’s elections, and what is at stake in terms of local and national politics? Sten Widmalm: The election campaigns focus intensely on the failures of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC) party, which currently has the most seats in the state assembly, and the Indian National Congress, which was in […]

Gasoline is advertised for $1.99 per gallon at an On Cue station and $2.03 per gallon at the nearby 7-11 in south Oklahoma City, Dec. 5, 2014 (AP photo by Sue Ogrocki).

The dramatic fall in global energy prices over the past several months provides the United States with a window of opportunity to push new solutions to several pressing domestic and foreign policy challenges—if Washington is focused and prepared to act quickly. I proposed one such solution several weeks ago: a reverse-windfall tax to set a “price floor” on domestic energy consumption. Doing so would take advantage of falling prices at the pump to raise funds to sustain the infrastructure that has been constructed over the past decade in the North American nonconventional energy fields, without damaging the U.S. economic recovery. […]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the World Diamond Conference in New Delhi, India, Dec. 11, 2014 (AP photo by Saurabh Das).

On Dec. 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin became the latest suitor to court Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi on the latter’s home territory. He follows Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and precedes U.S. President Barack Obama, who will travel to India next month for the country’s Republic Day celebrations. Unlike some Indian leaders, Modi does not have any ideological attachment to Russia. However, while New Delhi has ended its Cold War-era alignment with Moscow, India and Russia still share many overlapping interests. India is counting on Moscow to help secure New Delhi’s full membership in […]

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou bows as he tenders his resignation as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, Taipei, Taiwan, Dec. 3, 2014 (AP photo by Wally Santana).

Last month, Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party lost local elections, receiving only 40 percent of the vote. The defeat caused Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou to reshuffle his Cabinet and step down as KMT party chairman. In an email interview, Joel Atkinson, research fellow at the Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development at Yonsei University, South Korea, discussed Taiwan’s domestic politics. WPR: What factors led to the Kuomintang’s defeat in local elections, and what are the implications for the national-level political balance with the Democratic Progressive Party? Joel Atkinson: The results reflect widespread dissatisfaction with where Taiwan is going. The […]

South Korean President Park Geun-hye shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting, Beijing, China, Nov 11, 2014 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

I had the opportunity to spend the past week in China and South Korea discussing various issues related to U.S. policy toward Asia with government representatives, academics and think tank counterparts. In general, I found that some previously hot-topic issues had decreased in salience, even as there remains confusion over U.S. President Barack Obama’s strategic and tactical priorities in the region during his remaining two years in office. One takeaway in particular seemed strikingly clear: The next U.S. president, whether Democrat or Republican, will need to take early action to dispel the misperception that Washington is either unwilling to defend […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the Australia China state and provincial leaders forum in Sydney, Australia, Nov. 19, 2014 (AP photo by Jason Reed).

For centuries, the trade routes of the Silk Road have evoked spices, empires and deserts. However, if a new strategy planned by the Chinese government proves successful, it may well come to be associated with China’s ascent in world politics. On Nov. 8, during the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $40 billion for the creation of a Silk Road Investment Fund to “break the connectivity bottleneck” in Asia. Only five days after the APEC announcement, the China Securities Journal reported that “relevant departments” are trying to establish a private […]

Thai Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers inspect the site where their colleagues were killed by a bomb detonated by suspected Muslim insurgents in Bacho, Narathawat province, southern Thailand, Oct. 28, 2013 (AP photo by Sumeth Panpetch).

On Dec. 1, during Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha’s first visit to Kuala Lumpur, he and his Malaysian counterpart, Prime Minister Najib Razak, agreed on the conditions to restart peace efforts to resolve the deadly southern Thailand insurgency. While the resumption of Malaysia-hosted peace talks between the Thai state and Malay-Muslim rebels is an encouraging sign, the parties are likely to encounter formidable challenges as they attempt to structure a political solution that will lead to a durable peace and end Southeast Asia’s most lethal ongoing conflict. Since the latest outbreak of the insurgency in Thailand’s Malay-Muslim-majority southernmost provinces in […]

Xu Caihou, right, deputy chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai attend the closing session of the National People’s Congress, Beijing, China, March 14, 2012 (AP photo by Vincent Thian).

The recent announcement that investigators seized a metric ton of cash, jewels, antiques and other luxury goods from the villa of retired Gen. Xu Caihou sheds new light on corruption within China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Xu, who had been a vice chairman of the Chinese Communist Party’s powerful Central Military Commission (CMC), was the second senior PLA commander to be charged with corruption in recent years. In 2012, Gen. Gu Junshan, a deputy commander of the PLA General Logistics Department, was detained after years of rumors that he had been involved in under-the-table deals involving PLA-controlled land. Several active […]

France’s far right presidential candidate and National Front party president Marine Le Pen attends a political rally in Chateauroux, France, Feb. 26, 2012 (Sipa via AP Images).

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here. A quarter-century ago, a virtually unknown State Department official published an article in a neoconservative policy journal. The title of the piece as well as its author would go on to acquire global fame—or perhaps notoriety. Critics did not hesitate to dismiss Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History?” Strobe Talbott, for instance, called it “the beginning of nonsense.” Yet the article, and the subsequent book that grew out of it, was often […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 191 2 Last